top of page

Historical Archive

Each hyperlink below links to the relevant images in the club photograph gallery.


This is an archive of material from the club's history going back to the very origins of the club. It consists of photos and newspaper cuttings together with clippings from old programmes and magazine articles. If anyone has anything they feel they could add to the site, please get in touch with us via Contact Us.


Pre 1930

This period covers the formation of the club in 1918 and the first Cheshire Senior Cup success.


The early part of the decade was not spectacular but the second part brought Cheshire league championships, Cheshire Senior Cup success and the great FA Cup tie versus Preston NE. Some of the great names of the club’s history appeared in this era.

Jack Search - A Runcorn Legend

In March 2019, Halton Borough Council honoured the memory of the man widely regarded to have been the Linnets' greatest ever player.

The roadway in the new retail park outside The Millbank Linnets Stadium was named Jack Search Way, in tribute to Jack's service to Runcorn AFC, his association with the town and war-time heroism. Jack's exploits over 15 years either side of World War Two as Runcorn's prolific centre forward - winning Cheshire County League and FA Senior Cup honours as well as being involved in an FA Cup third round of 1939 against holders Preston NE - are chronicled in the Linnets Legends section of the website. In war years, he was awarded the George Medal for bravery. Serving in Sicily, Jack (who rose to the rank of Lt-Col) cleared stocks of ammunition from the path of a raging petrol fire. His heroic action prevented a major explosion, thereby averting huge damage and casualties. Jack later became chairman of the Canal Street club before joining the board at Everton FC, but he never forgot his time with the Linnets and always took an interest in their results and progress.

Jack's daughter and son-in-law, Jeannie and David De Rycke travelled from their home in Cumbria to see "Gentleman Jack", as he was rightly known, honoured. The roadway was unveiled three days after the 31st anniversary of Jack's death.

The material in this section of the Historical Archive is dedicated to Jack and has been taken from the scrapbook he kept during his time with Runcorn AFC.


The league was suspended during the war years but the immediate post-war period brought further success in the FA Cup against League opposition.


The club struggled in the Cheshire League with little notable success during the period.


The “Boothway” decade which saw a league title and success in the Cheshire Senior Cup competitions.The era of Foster and Moss and FA Cup glory versus Notts County, thanks to Alan Ryan.The club left the Cheshire League at the end of the decade to join the Northern Premier League.


The era of Stan Storton. The club won the Cheshire Senior Cup again in 1973/74. The following year, they retained the Senior Cup and added the NPL Cup, as the team became one of the strongest in the league. The season after - 1975/76 - the club won their first NPL league title, and took their third league scalp - Southport - in 1977/78, with the NPL Cup won again in 1979/80. In this season, the Alliance Premier League (now Nationwide Conference) was formed, with Runcorn surprisingly left out.


The golden decade for the club. They did the treble in 1980/81, lifting the NPL Championship, NPL Cup and the NPL Shield, achieving promotion to the top flight of non-league football. After promotion, Runcorn continued their form and shocked the non-league world by winning the APL Championship at the first attempt by a seven-point margin, losing just five games. Runcorn also won the League Cup - known as the Bob Lord Trophy - on two occasions in 1982/83 and 1984/85, and were runners up in 1991/92. In the first ten years of APL football, Runcorn finished in the top eight on nine occasions. The "Conference Years" were also Runcorn's most successful periods in the FA Cup and FA Trophy. In their fifteen years of tenure, Runcorn reached the First Round six times and the Second Round four times. They also defeated two league sides in this time - Chester (1987/88) and Wrexham (1988/89). In the FA Trophy, Runcorn went one better than their three Semi-Final appearances in the 70s by reaching the Final at Wembley in 1986. Runcorn were also very successful in the Senior Cup, winning it for five consecutive years in from 1984/85 to 1988/89.


The Linnets reached two more FA Trophy finals at Wembley, going down to Wycombe Wanderers (4-1) in 1993 and Woking (2-1) in 1994. Despite their success on the field, disaster struck three times off the field during the 1993/94 season. A perimeter wall collapsed in a FA Cup tie against Hull, the roof blew off a stand in high winds, and the main stand was gutted by fire. With the club crippled by the cost of rebuilding their Canal Street home, Runcorn suffered on the pitch, and were relegated for the first time in their history in 1995/96 after fifteen years of top-flight non-league football. Back in the Northern Premier League the club won the Presidents Cup in 1997/98.


With crowds dwindling, Runcorn sold their Canal Street home to move into the 11,000 capacity Halton Stadium in nearby Widnes. The club also changed their name to Runcorn FC Halton. In the 2003/04 season, the Conference announced the formation of Conference North and South for following season, with Runcorn qualifying by finishing the season in thirteenth - the final automatic spot. The following two seasons saw relegations into UniBond Premier and UniBond First following financial difficulties, although the spot in UniBond First was never taken up as the club became dormant after the creation of Runcorn Linnets FC by the fans of the old club in 2006. Success came to The Linnets in season 2006/07 when promotion was achieved to the top division of the North West Counties League. After 4 years out of the town at Witton Albion, the club moved back to their own ground in Runcorn at the Millbank Linnets Stadium in 2010.



In 2010 the club moved back to their own ground in Runcorn at the Millbank Linnets Stadium after playing for 4 years at Witton Albion. The bond between the two clubs continues to be recognised at the start of each season with a joint sponsored walk followed by a pre-season fixture. The Linnets will always be grateful to Witton for their friendship and support during this time.


Early in season 2010/11, former Linnets player Paul McNally was appointed to the manager's post to replace Steve Wilkes. In December 2012, Joey Dunn came in to replace Macca, bringing Stu Humphreys as his assistant. After settling in for the rest of that season, Joey and Stu then built teams which finished agonisingly as runners up in each of the next 3 seasons, although the league cup was won in 2013. Joey stepped down in July 2016 and former skipper, Michael Ellison stepped into the manager's post bringing Matt Cross back to the club as his assistant. Despite having to build a team from scratch, Ello managed to take the team to 4th place in the league by the end of season 2016/17 but the following season saw the team finally achieve the championship they so much deserved and with it came promotion to the Evostik League. The Linnets just missed out on the play off positions in their first season in 2018/19 before the following season was declared void following the pandemic outbreak. Only time will tell what the new decade brings. 



bottom of page